ISP’s should run BitTorrent Cache’s

I’ve went on a bit about BitTorrent before. And in part is has happened (regarding Mozilla). We at least have torrents on the homepage!

Now to send a little messages to ISP’s:

BitTorrent could be an ISP’s best friend. Think networking basics for a minute: Staying within the network is faster, and more reliable. If a user subscribes to Comcast, their connection to Comcast’s network is optimal. Theoretically faster than anything else the can access. Also, Comcast doesn’t need outbound bandwidth by peering, or purchasing bandwidth when a user is using internal content (savings).

If an ISP were to embrace something like BitTorrent, it would really be an advantage to ISP’s. When something new is released, such as a Game, Linux Distro, or other large file, people go and download it all at once. To accommodate that takes some bandwidth. There’s no good reason why an ISP can’t handle the bulk of that internally, and provide faster downloads to their users (great marketing), and lower operational costs.

If an ISP were to setup perhaps a cache, simply to provide fast internal downloading through a method like BitTorrent there would be significant benefit to all parties. File hosts save bandwidth, consumers get files quicker, and ISP’s relieve uplink bandwidth, as well as get something new to market.

Even if the cache only mirrored the very popular things, perhaps took the top 10 of the past 24hrs. That would make a significant difference.

5 replies on “ISP’s should run BitTorrent Cache’s”

Hmm, do you mean “cache”? At first I thought a “cashe” was some BitTorrent lingo I didn’t know about, but the more I read, the more I suspected you really meant “cache”.

About the content: yes, well, we all know how much ISPs would be better *if only they would [ . . . ]*

I don’t think we’ll be seeing any of this any time soon. BitTorrent still is too much of a geek thing, I guess.

I think you’d loose bitTorrent’s benefit if it would be “cached” by an ISP, What’s the advantage to download from more then one source if all your sources are on the same LAN ? relief a server ? but the cache server would not be reliefed.
I know One ISP ( that has transparent cache for HTTP and FTP I think their solution is neat. The end user does not know that he goes thu a cache (and the ISP gains bandwith here). If the user know about the cache it will not use it. How often do you take the time to download a file from a nearby mirror ?

Bittorrent caching should be possible, if all bittorrent traffic can be diverted to the cache server(s). The cache could simply be a block-cache, and wouldn’t know what the contents of the blocks are. It could passively pick up blocks on the wire (once one user has downloaded the block, the cache has it), then force-feed it to the user quickly when it detects a request for the block from the user. This would mean that the ISP is only participating within their own network, and wouldn’t show up on the radar of RIAA, MPAA etc. The protocol is very well documented, so it should be possible. I would prefer to see caching supported specifically by the protocol, however. In places like Australia, where international bandwidth IS a big issue, it would reduce the costs to ISPs significantly.

Bittorrent traffic accounts for a HUGE proportion of traffic on ISPs, and this hasn’t escaped them.. most just don’t have sufficient geeks to work on such projects, or they simply won’t fund the development.

The benefits to the ISP is that suddenly their inbound bandwidth requirements would drop by a very noticable proportion, thus reducing their operational costs.

When Joe says bittorent caching “should” be possible, I agree in theory. What I would *really* like to know is whether the software has been written yet? To run a bittorent cache on the gateway between an ADSL and a load of users who share it would be very useful in many situations, including university halls (dorms) for example.

If anyone knows any suitable software to put on a Linux box, please post details here. Bittorrent preferred, but eMule or any of the others would also be appreciated.

Thanks in anticipation


I realise this is an old thread, but I make no apology for bumping it – the original post is as cogent now as it was in 2004, as sadly is the comment from Jan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *